EPA’s Endangerment Finding Relies Heavily on Flawed IPCC Report

May 6, 2010

EPA’s Endangerment Finding Relies Heavily on Flawed IPCC Report

Sensenbrenner: Staff Report Finds EPA Record Insufficient to Support Climate Regulations

Washington, D.C. –A report issued today by the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming Republican staff found that the United Nations’ climate science panel should not be used to justify Environmental Protection Agency’s extensive global warming regulations, Select Committee Ranking Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (Wis.) said.

“If the EPA is going to claim authority to launch the largest regulatory program in history, it is not enough for the agency to accept wholesale the U.N.’s findings—it has to develop an independent scientific record,” Sensenbrenner said. “Already there are efforts to whitewash the Climategate scandal and ignore the serious concerns about transparency and reliability that plague the U.N.’s work on climate science. Climategate has taught us that many of the U.N.’s climate findings are wrong, and some may even be fraudulent. This report shows that the U.N. panel’s work isn’t strong enough to support the global warming taxes being proposed by the EPA.”
 
“The Unsettling Science behind EPA’s Endangerment Finding” shows that the EPA should not rely on the U.N.’s International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to support the so-called “Endangerment Finding” it issued last year. The finding clears the way for the EPA to regulate carbon dioxide, a major byproduct of fossil fuel use. Restricting carbon dioxide emissions will result in higher energy costs, effectively levying an unseen fuel tax that several studies show would be a major drag on the economy.
 
Several recently-discovered errors highlight the procedural flaws used in assembling the IPCC study and show that each error overstated the environmental impacts of climate change, the report said. Instances of IPCC errors include: 1) A sloppily-sourced claim that Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035. 2) Reliance on an unpublished study to claim the world has suffered rising costs due to catastrophic weather events, where the author later said there was insufficient evidence to support the claim. 3) Stating that 55 percent of the Netherlands is below sea level, when in fact, only 26 percent is. 4) Failure to support the claim that Africa’s agricultural output would be reduced by 50 percent by 2020.
 
The Climategate scandal has also undercut the credibility of the IPCC, the report found. Uncovered e-mails sent between scientists at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit show a pattern of data manipulation and secrecy that undermine the British academic body’s credibility. Some of the e-mails show CRU researchers plotting to avoid Freedom of Information requests, a violation of United Kingdom law. Much of the CRU’s work is used to support the IPCC’s studies, the report shows.
 
Both EPA and Office of Management and Budget guidelines state that an agency must base any regulatory proposal on science that is clear and transparent. OMB guidelines further state that simply because a study is peer-reviewed doesn’t mean it fulfills the requirement that the results are transparent and replicable.
 
One senior EPA staff member warned officials that the agency should not rely so heavily on the IPCC to support the endangerment finding, and assembled a report that included more up-to-date scientific studies. Political appointees at the EPA kept Dr. Alan Carlin’s report out of the EPA’s endangerment finding record, arguing that the Administration had already decided to move forward with an endangerment finding. Additionally, the Select Committee report showed that EPA officials punished Dr. Carlin by reassigning him to menial tasks and forbidding him to do any more research on climate change science.
 

Click here for the report.

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